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A Three-Sector Model of Structural Transformation and Economic Development

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  • El-hadj M. Bah

Abstract

Growth accounting exercises point to aggregate TFP differences as the dominant source of the large cross-country income differences. In this paper, I ask which sectors account for the aggregate TFP gap between rich and poor countries. Data limitations for developing countries have led researchers to use indirect methods for estimating sectoral TFPs. This paper proposes a new approach for estimating sectoral TFP using panel data on sectoral employment shares and GDP per capita. The approach builds a model of structural transformation and uses it to infer sectoral TFP time series consistent with the reallocation of labor between sectors and GDP per capita growth of a set of developing countries over a 40-year period. I fi nd that relative to the US, developing countries are the least productive in agriculture, followed by services and then manufacturing. While these fi ndings are consistent with empirical studies, they differ from fi ndings in the growth literature.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade in its series DEGIT Conference Papers with number c014_039.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:deg:conpap:c014_039

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Keywords: Productivity; Sectoral TFP; Structural Transformation; Economic growth; Economic Development;

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  1. L. Rachel Ngai & Christopher Pissarides, 2004. "Structural change in a multi-sector model of growth," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3550, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Douglas Gollin & Stephen Parente & Richard Rogerson, 2002. "The Role of Agriculture in Development," Center for Development Economics 2002-09, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  3. Jeffrey Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995. "Economic Reform and the Progress of Global Integration," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1733, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  4. Restuccia, Diego & Yang, Dennis Tao & Zhu, Xiaodong, 2008. "Agriculture and aggregate productivity: A quantitative cross-country analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 234-250, March.
  5. Richard Rogerson, 2007. "Structural Transformation and the Deterioration of European Labor Market Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 12889, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Kongsamut, Piyabha & Rebelo, Sérgio & Xie, Danyang, 1997. "Beyond Balanced Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 1693, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Peter J. Klenow, 2003. "Relative Prices and Relative Prosperity," NBER Working Papers 9701, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Peter Klenow & Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, 1997. "The Neoclassical Revival in Growth Economics: Has It Gone Too Far?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 73-114 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Berthold Herrendorf & Akos Valentinyi, 2005. "Which Sectors Make the Poor Countries so Unproductive?," IEHAS Discussion Papers 0519, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
  10. Wacziarg, Romain & Welch, Karen Horn, 2003. "Trade Liberalization and Growth: New Evidence," Research Papers 1826, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  11. Hendricks, Lutz A., 2002. "How Important is Human Capital for Development? Evidence from Immigrant Earnings," Staff General Research Papers 11409, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  12. Douglas Gollin & Stephen L. Parente & Richard Rogerson, 2004. "The Food Problem and the Evolution of International Income Levels," Working Papers 899, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  13. Bah, El-hadj M., 2007. "Structural Transformation in Developed and Developing Countries," MPRA Paper 10655, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 19 Sep 2008.
  14. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker Than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116, February.
  15. Francesco Caselli, 2005. "Accounting for Cross-Country Income Differences," CEP Discussion Papers dp0667, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  16. Cordoba, Juan Carlos & Ripoll, Marla, 2010. "Endogenous Tfp and Cross-Country Income Differences," Staff General Research Papers 32116, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  17. Margarida Duarte & Diego Restuccia, 2006. "The Role of the Structural Transformation in Aggregate Productivity," 2006 Meeting Papers 415, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  18. Stephen L. Parente & Edward C. Prescott, 2002. "Barriers to Riches," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262661306, December.
  19. Parente, Stephen L & Prescott, Edward C, 1994. "Barriers to Technology Adoption and Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(2), pages 298-321, April.
  20. Echevarria, Cristina, 1997. "Changes in Sectoral Composition Associated with Economic Growth," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 38(2), pages 431-52, May.
  21. Prescott, Edward C, 1998. "Needed: A Theory of Total Factor Productivity," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(3), pages 525-51, August.
  22. Laitner, John, 2000. "Structural Change and Economic Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(3), pages 545-61, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Murat Üngör, 2009. "De-industrialization of the Riches and the Rise of China," DEGIT Conference Papers c014_040, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  2. Loris Rubini, 2013. "Growth, Structural Transformation, and Volatility," Documentos de Trabajo 444, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
  3. Bah, El-hadj M., 2007. "Structural Transformation in Developed and Developing Countries," MPRA Paper 10655, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 19 Sep 2008.

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